This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. I am slowly blogging through Steele's Answers, posting each Q & A in the order in which they appear (whether I personally agree with the answer or not). But, these posts come from several other sources, as well. I often post particularly eloquent passages from Dr. Steele's other writings. Occasionally I post "guest blogs" from other holiness writers.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Editor's Note: Steele's Answers Has Run Its Course

I began this blog in December 2011 with the intention of blogging my way through the book Steele's Answers. That project is now completed.

It took longer than I thought it would — but, then, the project also got more complicated than I expected.

Daniel Steele was one of the 19th Century holiness writers I read in the earlier stages of my Christian journey, and I scanned many of his books long ago. There were only a few volumes that I had neither read nor scanned. One of these was an old book (published a few years before Dr. Steele's death) called Steele's Answers. I had acquired a copy from AbeBooks, but I found that its contents were not arranged into chapters. The book was composed of short Question and Answer items in no thematic order.

It occurred to me that a blog was the ideal way to present material like this. So, I began this project without having read the book in advance. It was my intention to blog each of the answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. As of last Saturday, that project has been completed.

As I began scanning, editing, and posting the items from Steele's Answers, however, I quickly discovered that the book wasn't very good. That is when I began adding posts from Dr. Steele's other writings, and occasional snippets from various holiness writers of his times.

So, the project became a little more than I had originally foreseen — and quite a bit better for that.

The book Steele's Answers is actually a good reflection of its times — and the beliefs and practices of the holiness-minded Methodists of that day. But, sadly, it is little more than that. The answers are brief and often not especially insightful.

I may return to this blog some day and post some more snippets from Dr. Steele's writings — or from some other of the holiness writers. Or, I may not. We will see.

But, for right now, I am done with this project.

— Craig L. Adams

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Age of Accountability

QUESTION: At what age do children become accountable to God?

ANSWER: Some much earlier than others. The dispensation of infancy in some cases is hardly reached at 21 years, and in idiocy is never reached. I am acquainted with a person who before the fourth birthday' had read the New Testament entirely through ­ an instance of early accountability.

Steele's Answers p. 271.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Preachers Condemning Other Preachers

QUESTION: Is it for the advancement of holiness for a preacher professing this grace to scandalize in his own pulpit a minister of the Gospel because he occasionally takes his open air recreation by playing lawn tennis?

ANSWER: "Love suffereth long and is kind, hopeth all things and thinketh no evil." We advise this preacher, who thinks he is appointed a judge over his fellow laborers in the Lord's vineyard, to make a thorough study' of Paul's eulogy of love, the 13th chapter of I Corinthians. Uncharitableness does not promote any good cause, especially Christian holiness.

Steele's Answers p. 271.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Synoptic Gospels

QUESTION: Why are the first three gospels called "synoptics?

ANSWER: Because they give an account of Christ's life, while John reports his extended addresses. He aims to prove that the Son is God as he asserts in the first verse. This makes his gospel a polemic kind of argumentative treatise. The other gospels are narrative, not laying down a proposition and demonstrating it.

Steele's Answers p. 271.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wives & the Sabbath

QUESTION: In the fourth commandment, Ex. 20:8-12, why is the wife omitted from the list of those who are forbidden to work on the Sabbath, neither "thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man servant, etc."?

ANSWER: It is not because she must get breakfast, dinner and supper on the Sabbath, so that the saying is true, "woman's work is never done," but it is because she is included in the "thou" where she is regarded as sharing the hardship of the household on a level with her husband just as she is in the fifth commandment, "Honor thy father and thy mother."

Steele's Answers p. 270.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mistakes in the King James Version

QUESTION: A Southern preacher is teaching that there are 2,000 mistakes in King James' version of the Bible. Is this so?

ANSWER: There is not a mistake which affects any Christian doctrine. There are petty defects in minute details, like the omission to dot the letter i or to cross a t in a manuscript. One translator says "Herod the King;" another says "King Herod;" this would be counted a mistake. I presume there are 2,000 variations in the American Standard from King James' Version, but not one of them can be called a mistake. The new version is an improvement by substituting modern words for those that are obsolete, such as "knew" for "wist" in Lu. 2:49, "knew ye not" etc., and "who" and "that" for "which" when referring to a person, such as "Our Father who art," etc.; and "are" for "be" in indicative clauses; and "an" for "a" before an aspirated "h." All these are doubtless counted as a part of the 2,000 mistakes. Preachers should be on their guard against statements which shake the confidence of the people in their Bibles.

Steele's Answers pp. 269, 270.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Labor Unions

QUESTION: Can a man belong to a labor union and still be a true follower of Jesus Christ?

ANSWER: He can belong to such a union as is conducted on the Golden Rule. But if the spirit of the union is to crush the nonunion man by demanding his discharge from the job in which you are working, the union has become a wicked monopoly, offensive to Christ because  of  its lack, not only of brotherly love, but of simple justice. "Be not a partaker of other men's sins; keep thyself pure."

Steele's Answers p. 269.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Beast

QUESTION: Explain Rev. 17:8, "The beast thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition * * * when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is."

ANSWER: The Revision has "and shall come," instead of "and yet is." The beast is supposed to represent the Roman empire, which once was, then it ceased to be, and reappeared coming out of the bottomless pit in the form of that spiritual despotism called the Papacy, to go at last into the like of fire with all like characters.

Steele's Answers pp. 268, 269.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Saying Amen in Church

QUESTION: Is it essential that we say Amen as a sanction to the truth? The church authorities forbid it as disorderly.

ANSWER: This is a matter of taste rather than of religious obligation. It seems desirable that audiences should be responsive to the speaker, but not in a boisterous way by very loud and frequent ejaculations. A quiet amen now and then helps and encourages a speaker, but too many and too often may confuse him.

Steele's Answers p. 268.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

On Keeping the Sabbath

QUESTION: Can an unholy man keep the Sabbath day holy?

ANSWER: He can cease from labor and thus outwardly regard the sanctity of the day, but he is not in a condition to regard it inwardly, "and call the Sabbath a delight, not finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words, but delighting in Jehovah."

Steele's Answers p. 268.